Top 10 TV Shows That Died Too Soon


With yesterday’s announcement that everyone’s favorite New Zealand duo, Flight of the Conchords , would not be coming back for a third season on HBO, it got us thinking about other shows that didn’t stick around, much to the chagrin of fans. Whether it was poor ratings, contract disputes, or stars moving on to other projects, they were gone before the TV-viewing populace really knew what they were missing out on.

After the jump, our top ten TV shows that died too soon. They are gone, but never forgotten.

1. The Critic – ABC 1994, Fox 1995

Jon Lovitz’s cartoon critic, Jay Sherman, was canceled after only two seasons, which left a void in movie satire that still hasn’t been filled since.

2. Sports Night – ABC 1998 to 2000

Aaron Sorkin’s take on daily sports reporting had all of the elements needed for success, but after only two seasons of excellent writing and a great cast, it was dumped from ABC right as West Wing took off on NBC.

3. Freaks and GeeksNBC 1999 to 2000

This was Judd Apatow before he took over Hollywood, and it features some of the bigger names that have have gone on to star in his blockbusters: James Franco, Jason Segel, and Seth Rogen. The series only lasted a year in 1999 before it was dumped by NBC and Apatow moved on to…

4. UndeclaredFox 2001 to 2002

Again this show only lasted one season on Fox before being dumped, proving that no single network can take the blame for missing out on Apatow’s talent.

5. Firefly – Fox 2002

This show only lasted one season and was canceled even before all 14 episodes had aired. The DVD sales led to the incarnation of the movie Serenity .

6. Arrested DevelopmentFox 2004 to 2006

The Bluth family lasted longer than most of the others on this list (3 seasons) but the outcry when it was dumped by Fox at the end of 2006 was louder than for any other show on our list and continues to this day. Stay tuned for the possible movie.

7. Deadwood – HBO 2004 to 2006

HBO’s Deadwood was praised by critics, but HBO opted against picking up the option for the 4th season. Talks continue that it might conclude with a telefilm.

8. Veronica Mars – The CW (formerly UPN) 2004 to 2007

Everyone’s favorite female PI, Veronica Mars was dumped after her third season. There have been movie rumors here too, but Kristen Bell isn’t getting any younger. Don’t hold your breath.

9. Studio 60 on the Sunset StripNBC 2006 to 2007

Aaron Sorkin has his second appearance on our list for this excellent take on an SNL-like comedy sketch show. Too bad NBC only had room for one of those.

10. Life NBC – 2007 to 2009

NBC’s cop drama featured a quirky detective (played by Damian Lewis of Band of Brothers fame) who practiced Zen philosophy and had served time. They kept swapping time slots and viewers lost interest.

On a related side note, on our current premature death watch: Chuck, Flashforward, Ugly Betty, and V.

Let us know which one’s you would put on the list.